The inside of the room was reduced to rubbles and thick dust covered whatever remained. Bleak sun rays entered the room and illuminated it how a thousand cannonballs of colors collide and disperse producing nothing but white in the end. The light reflected on one of the desks remaining covered with heavy dust. She could still read words written in white thick marker, “Heart shaped box”. At once, a face came to her mind and she caught herself smiling. Even standing in between the ruins of a place she once cherished, there she was, standing and smiling at the words. Of course, Selena had written them. She loved Kurt Cobain. She remembered how Afghani down the end of the market sold old cassettes of American and European bands at high price because it was forbidden and you had to be careful in purchasing them. Her walk down the memory lane was small lived and soon she found herself sneezing because the dust was getting to her. She pulled her scarf ends over her face and only her eyes could be seen as she examined the room. It was as if she wanted to soak it all in, the before and after of it all and never let it out of her memory. She wanted it deeply engraved on the density of her cerebrum.
The room smelled of gun powder and smoke with a tint of pine smell from the forest nearby. It’s a miracle how nature has the tendency to mix with even the catastrophically ruined things in life and make them appear beautiful or still give them a small piece of beauty so that they too can glimmer like nature does in all its glory. The walls that were once covered with bright posters that she and her friends made, were now torn and some on the ground. A piece of the wall from the left side of the room was completely on the ground and the bricks scattered along the way giving room for animals to enter-mainly mice-to come and make home. She heard the birds, she heard the rattle sound from down the street but it was unfamiliar. The sounds she used to hear so often during the old times, the sounds that were familiar back then now carried unfamiliarity in them and she could sense it. Some sounds were missing like laughter, talking and mainly joy.
She walked over the broken wooden chairs and distorted desks. The blackboard still had 12/01/2015 written on it. Present 25. Absent 2. She saw chalks on the floor spilled out like a psychedelic pattern and the teachers chair intact. She saw a piece of poster on the floor and picked it up. Sweeping off the dirt it read, “Ye apki class hai, isay saaf rakhna apka kaam hai kyun k safai nisf iman hai” (This is your class and keeping it clean is your responsibility because cleanliness is half of faith).
She read the lines a few times and then looked over her surrounding-ruined. How was she to explain to God if he asked? That religious extremist won’t get that they just took half of her iman (faith) from her in the process of destroying her school.